Health and Fitness

How to open a successful gym or fitness center?

It takes to open a fitness center investment capital, the right business, the right staff, a good business plan, and other factors that we’ll detail below.

You will find all the steps you need to follow to open a successful fitness center in this guide.

Why should I open a gym or fitness center?

Before opening a business, it is important to know all the information and statistics about the industry.

The fitness center and gym industry have grown tremendously over the years. Previously, only typical, traditional gyms filled with gym equipment, machines, and weights were common. However, these gyms have begun incorporating other activities such as functional training, pilates, or yoga. In addition, new boutique sports centers specializing in such fitness activities are increasing their popularity day by day.

Why should you open a boutique fitness center?

More than 50% of the gyms opened in the USA are boutique sports centers in recent years. The main reasons for this situation can be listed as follows:

  1. There is a big difference between traditional gyms and boutique sports centers regarding initial investment and prices.
  2. Finding the right workplace is another important factor. For example, to open a traditional gym, you need at least 300 square meters of space where users can train comfortably.
  3. Customer repeat in boutique fitness centers is higher than in traditional gyms. For example, while customers who stop coming to the center are 2% in boutique fitness centers, this rate rises to 5% in traditional gyms.

What requirements must I fulfill to open a gym or fitness center?

  1. First of all, you should know the sector and the industry. Then, you must know all the data, business operations, and the services you will offer to make the right decisions and avoid making serious mistakes that could cost you money or even cause you to quit.
  2. You need to be informed about the obligations and conditions of the country where you will open the fitness center. This includes documentation, legal actions, licenses, taxes, insurance, regulations, workplace approval, etc.
  3. Understanding the country’s culture very well is much more important than you might think. You need to know the traditions, customer profile, behavior, and how to communicate with your customers and suppliers.
  4. To open your fitness center, you need to have a business plan that includes all the necessary steps, detailed and supported budgets, and clear entrepreneurial goals.

What are the steps to follow to open a fitness center?

Before you decide to open your fitness center, there are important factors to consider. Before you decide to open your fitness center, you should discuss all the general factors you need to consider, regardless of the country or city where you plan to open the center. While the results may vary according to the country’s culture, laws, policies, or demographics, general issues apply to all places.

Should you choose to open a fitness center franchise, the franchisors will provide you with all the necessary information. It will prepare you for starting a successful business and give you training. Thus, you will not have to worry about dealer opening stages. In addition, you will save months of work, effort, and money to spend.

But if you want to open a hub on your own, we provide a list of steps that we think will be helpful for you to follow:

Market research

During market research, you should analyze the industry. Once you’ve decided to open a fitness center clear, identify your target audience and begin researching their needs and preferences. Look at what existing companies (competitors) offer and what they lack. All this research will help you offer a unique service that will differentiate you from your competitors.

Business plan

You can start creating a business plan to plan the details and set goals and tools for the next step. No matter what the job is, planning is required to enter all industries. This chapter is a guide to the proper functioning of your workplace and will show you how the business will be viable. You can use methods such as SWOT analysis to analyze the situation of your business both internally and externally, and you can determine different solution strategies according to different scenarios.

Documentation and legal issues

It is one of the most important factors to consider when opening a fitness center. Although the procedures and the length of the process make this stage tedious, you should not avoid any steps to avoid any problems in the future. Obligations and conditions to be fulfilled may vary depending on your country.

Choosing a workplace for the fitness center

At this point, you must decide whether you want to open a traditional gym or a boutique fitness center. As we mentioned above, you will need a space of at least 300 square meters for a traditional gym and approximately 60 square meters for a boutique sports center. In addition, we recommend that you consider some factors when looking for a workplace: pedestrian and vehicle traffic density on the street where the sports center will be located, visibility of the venue (preferably on the ground floor, the door should open to the street), parking spaces and nearby businesses (outside of competitors). You can also take into account the purchasing power of the region.


In this case, it also depends heavily on the type of fitness center you want to open. If it is a traditional gym, the investment will be higher than in a boutique center. You should include different factors in the budget you have that can increase or decrease the investment. Depending on the type of service, client, and location, the investment will vary significantly.

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Examining the details

At this stage, we recommend that you listen to your customers. You need to know what they want and whether they are satisfied with your service. Ask your customers for their opinions directly. People like to be listened to. You can also conduct surveys to improve certain areas of your business.

What kind of services can be offered in the fitness center?

Gyms have evolved a lot over the years. You may see facilities that currently offer multiple services, even with swimming pools. This will depend on your budget and how large the facility is.

What is the cost of opening a fitness center?

The amounts represent approximate costs but may vary depending on many factors. First of all, costs vary by country, city, region, and type of business.

Business permits may also differ from region to region, including different cities in the same country. In some places, permits and others, more permits may be requested, which will affect the final budget.

If you are going to open a traditional gym, you should consider your gym equipment and weights investments. You should calculate how much sports equipment you need to buy, what brand and model this equipment should be, and your fixed and variable costs in the first few months after opening your business.

Opening your gym or buying a gym franchise?

It’s up to you, but there are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • Do I know about the sector and the industry?
  • Do I have information about the business and how the processes work?
  • What tools and software can I use to keep the business’s accounting?
  • Do I have reliable suppliers who offer quality products?
  • Do I know what types of businesses and which region would be more suitable for attracting both myself and customers?
  • And do I know how to run marketing campaigns, digital tool management, and advertising via email, Facebook, Instagram, and Google? How should I address my customers?

If your answer is no to any of these questions, getting a fitness center business plan would be better. Franchise companies will share all their knowledge and experience with you. All the elements outlined in this article will be presented to you in full detail by the franchisor. Franchises advise you at all stages of the opening process of your sports center (choosing a workplace, purchasing sports equipment, budgets, annual profitability, financial analysis, market research, etc.). It also trains you on all the technology and tools you need to incorporate into your business and helps you attract new customers.

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